How A Bill Becomes Law I. Submitting A Bill a. Bills can originate in either House b. Bills MUST be submitted by a Congressperson c. Revenue bills must be submitted by the House of Reps only II. Sent to Committee a. Once the bill is received, it is sent to a committee in the house of origin b. Referred to a subcommittee III. Sent to Subcommittee a. The committee performs studies, holds hearings, and makes revisions b. If approved, it goes back to the full committee IV. Sent back to Committee a. May amend or rewrite the bill b. If approved, bill is reported to the full House and placed on the Calendar V. Rules Committee a. House – Issues rules governing debate on the House floor and sends bill to the full House VI. Leadership a. Senate – Senate leaders of both parties schedule debate on the bill VII. Floor Action a. Full House – bill is debated, amendments are offered, and vote is taken. b. If passes, it is sent to the Senate c. Full Senate – Same as above d. If passes, it is sent to the House VIII. Heading to the other House a. Once passed in the House, it must go to the Senate for approval b. If passed originally in the Senate, it must go to the House for approval IX. Repeat Steps from Above a. Goes through entire process X. Conference Committee a. If there are any differences with the House bill once it leaves the Senate or vice-versa, it has to be reconciled b. Conference Comm. is composed of members of both House and Senate members c. They meet to iron out differences d. Bill is then returned to both houses to go through the process AGAIN XI. Full House and Full Senate a. Vote on compromise bill if there are no changes b. If passes, it is sent to the President XII. President a. The president has several options when he receives a bill i. Sign the bill – becomes law ii. Do nothing for 10 days – becomes law iii. Veto – reject the bill iv. Pocket veto – do nothing and if Congress adjourns within the 10 days, the bill dies XIII. Congress and the Veto a. Just because a president vetoes a bill does not mean the end b. Congress can override a veto by a 2/3 vote in both houses XIV. History of the Veto a. 1485 regular vetoes b. 1066 pocket vetoes c. 2551 total d. 106 total vetoes overridden XV. Filibuster a. This is when a senator or senators give long speeches in an effort to delay any measure, motion, or amendment before the Senate. (There is no limit to the amount of time the Senate can debate a bill.) The tactic is often used by the minority side, or the side that opposes the bill that would likely pass if it came to a vote. The thinking is that the majority side will withdraw the bill or give in on key points after enduring hours of dull speeches. XVI. Cloture a. A process that ends a filibuster and forces a vote. To use cloture, a senator must file a cloture motion that has been signed by 16 senators, and at least 60 senators must vote in favor of cloture. Filibusters aren't allowed in the House of Representatives because there is a limited amount of time a bill can be debated in the House.